Luminaria Artist Foundation’s Individual Grants Program

For 2020, the Luminaria Artist Foundation awarded three $10,000 grants – one literary, one visual, and performance – and three $5,000 open category grants to six of San Antonio’s outstanding talents: Mark McCoin, Pamela Martinez, Octavio Quintanilla, Violeta De Leon Davila, Raul Rene Gonzalez, and Jenelle Esparza.

Mark McCoin
Rick Liberto Visual Arts Grantee

Isolated and On Display
Live Performance at Devil’s River Whiskey Distillery
Monday, October 26 | 7:30 to 10PM

Mark McCoin, A sound and interdisciplinary artist working in the areas of 4D performance and site-specific installation with integrated technologies, performs in this collaborative live event, along with fellow artists Max Bernstein, Christie Blizard, and Leigh Callaway. Viewers on the sidewalk looked on as the performers depicted stylized aspects of isolation, destabilization, and the need to be seen from inside separate windows at the Devil’s River Distillery’s entrance. The performances happened simultaneously and individually, as the artists engage outwardly through the glass walls of their personal isolettes.

Pamela Martinez
Performing Arts Grantee

Teletextile: Artemisia – Touching at a Distance
On Display at San Pedro Creek Culture Park
Wednesday, October 21 thru Friday, December 19, 2020

Pamela Martinez, Composer, harpist, reiki master, educator, and multi-instrumentalist, presented the second part of Teletextile: Artemisia – a series of immersive performances inspired by the healing power of nature, the big open sky of Texas, and the iconic San Antonio River. Central to Artemisia: Touching at a Distance is Martinez’s sonic sculpture – an Aeolian wind harp that produces ethereal harmonic frequencies when high winds blow across its strings. Designed by Martinez and fabricated by Wayland Roed, this sculpture will be on display in San Pedro Creek Culture Park for the 10-day series and beyond, and the artist was on-site Sunday, October 25, 2020 for a Sound Walk featuring recordings of wind harps in action.

Octavio Quintanilla
Literary Arts Grantee

Online Gallery available at San Antonio Public Library
Wednesday, October 21 thru Friday, October 30, 2020

Octavio Quintanilla, 2018–2020 San Antonio Poet Laureate, shared some of his visual poems with Frontexto(ing), which featured an online gallery with interactive writing prompts, a series of postcards, and a live streaming event. The term frontexto is a blend of frontera and texto – border/text – and embodies the creative journey to explore visual poetry.

The online gallery presented Frontextos of some of Quintanilla’s favorite writers during the 10-day series as well as an interactive platform for visitors to share their own writing. Frontexto postcards were available at all library branches through contactless loans pickup. The San Antonio Public Library also hosted a live streaming Q&A session with Quintanilla with special guest Jim LaVilla-Havelin as moderator.

Jenelle Esparza
Open Category Grantee

Through the Threshold
Was on display in the Auld House at the San Antonio Botanical Garden*
Wednesday, October 21 thru Friday, October 30, 2020

Jenelle Esparza, An interdisciplinary artist whose works explore the intersections of Mexican and American culture and the implications of generational trauma, used bronze castings of plant material as a threshold into a collective memory of star-like wildflowers on one grandmothers’ property and an interconnected history of a South Texas cotton field. This installation of glistening bronze cotton spurs was on display at the San Antonio Botanical Garden for the 10-day series.

VIDEO Through the Threshold | Video documentation of the installation and the process. | Video by Rigoberto Luna | 2020

Raul Rene Gonzalez
Open Category Grantee

Artists, Parents, & Oil Paints
Was on display around San Antonio in VIA Buses, Transit Centers, and Online
Wednesday, October 21 thru Friday, October 30, 2020

Raul Rene Gonzalez, A visual artist currently exploring the rhyme, reason, and riddle to being a professional artist while also being a parent is highlighted through print and digital media onboard VIA buses, at VIA Transit Centers, and on VIA’s website during the 10-day series. These posters and videos invited everyone to an in-depth look inside Gonzalez’s new studio as he creates six new oil paintings for his Artist–Parent series. The video captured Gonzalez’s studio process for an entire month as he teaches himself to use oil paints for the first time in his art career.

Violeta de Leon Davila
Violeta de Leon Davila Artwork

Violeta De Leon Davila 
Open Category Grantee

They Taught You Wrong: Metanoia – A Transformative Change
Was on display at the Majestic Theatre
Wednesday, October 21 thru Friday, October 30, 2020

Violeta De Leon Davila, Winner of the 2004 Contemporary Dance Choreography Contest of Northern Mexico and founder of the professional independent group, Pies Descalzos (“Bare Feet”) presented a video introduction to her contemporary dance project They Taught You Wrong: Metanoia – A Transformative Change during the 10-day series in a window display at the Majestic Theatre. Metanoia calls attention to the alarming rate of femicide in México and uses emotive movement to summon our collective courage to speak out against domestic violence wherever it occurs.

2020 Luminaria Artist Foundation Grants Judges

Sussy Santana
Dale Neal
Michelle Whittaker
Kate Bonansinga
Gregory Sale
Constanza Casamadrid
Michael Fox

Maya Taylor
Richard Perez
Edna Longoria
Yvette Benavides
Patricia Pratchett
Ray Santisteban

The 2020 Luminaria Artist Foundation Grants Program was supported by the Department of Arts & Culture of the City of San Antonio, Rick Liberto, the Lifshutz Foundation, Patricia Pratchett, Alan Beckstead, the Anne & Chuck Parrish Charitable Fund, and numerous private donors.

City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture

Luminaria Artist Foundation’s Fall Series

Learn more about each artist and get a sneak peek at what they’re are up to by scrolling through the tabs below and exploring the Luminaria Artist Foundation Works-In-Process Fall Series, a 10-Day art experiment that took place October 21 – October 30, 2020.

The 2020 Luminaria Artist Foundation Fall Series was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

National Endowment for the Arts

The Luminaria Artist Foundation thanks the six community partners who have helped catapult this creative experiment into the real world for you to enjoy:

LAF Series Community Partner Logos

For more information about the grant program, please visit Luminaria Artist Foundation Artist Grants.

Corona Arts Relief

Early on, Luminaria recognized the significant impact COVID-19 was having on our arts community, with many artists losing revenue and professional development opportunities because of social distancing requirements. To keep San Antonio’s vibrant arts culture energized during these adverse times, this program provided up to $600 each to 109 individual artists for losses and professional development support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luminaria launched the 4-month long Corona Arts Relief program in March 2020 with funding from the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture and from H-E-B. We were able to provide a second round of support through the generosity of the San Antonio Area Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund; the Brown Foundation Inc.; our ¡VIVA! fundraising partners Texas Public Radio, The Lonesome Rose, NOWCastSA, Nelco Media, and TINT; and numerous individual donors.

“I truly appreciate this wonderful opportunity during this time of global uncertainty. Thank you for providing hope to our community.” – Corona Arts Relief Recipient

Read more about the impact of this program in our Corona Arts Relief Stakeholder Report.